Formenti Photo

Silvia C. Formenti, MD

After fifteen years as the Sandra and Edward H. Meyer Professor and Chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology at NYU, in 2015 Dr. Formenti moved to Weill Cornell Medical College to become Chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology.

A native of Milan, Italy, she graduated medical school and did medical oncology training at the Università degli Studi (summa cum laude), before going to University of Southern California (USC) to work in the laboratory of Dr. Malcolm Mitchell in cancer immunology. After an ACS fellowship in AIDS and lymphoma, she completed a residency in radiation oncology at USC.

A prolific researcher (greater than 150 publications), Dr. Formenti has pioneered the use of concurrent chemo-radiation in locally advanced breast cancer (LABC). Her research has been consistently funded by NIH, ACS, BCRF and Komen, and culminated in 2005 with a Center of Excellence Award from the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program to study the biology and outcome of international LABC (Mexico, India, and S. Africa).

Inspired by clinical observations, Dr. Formenti has demonstrated in preclinical models how ionizing radiation can result in immunogenic cell death, converting the primary tumor into an individual in vivo vaccine. Another research focus is reducing late cardiovascular toxicity of breast cancer radiotherapy with a prone technique that excludes heart and lung. Recognized by high impact journals like JAMA and NEJM, her research has resulted in a US patent and a CME course offered since 2007, with wide international outreach and training.